Deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Sunday accused the Congress leadership in Delhi of having a hand in the dissolution of the board of directors of the NCP-controlled Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSC Bank), widening the rift between the state alliance partners.
"I strongly feel that the decision was taken in New Delhi with a political motive. It is unlikely that the RBI took the decision without consulting Pranab Mukherjee [Union finance minister]," he told the media in Satara. "Nobody in the state government was aware of the decision. The RBI did not bother to issue a notice to the bank."
Anticipating trouble, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan tried to ease tensions by saying that the state is willing to revive the bank and by emphasising that the RBI had taken the decision on the basis of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development report. State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, who has accused Ajit Pawar of clearing unwanted power projects, slammed the Opposition for demanding his resignation.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who is in Satara, is said to have taken up the issue with a senior Union minister. When contacted, he said: "I am in interior parts of my constituency and not aware of what the CM has said."